The majority of the city’s 250-odd petrol pumps have been operating smoothly since the intervening midnight of Friday and Saturday, when the window for accepting old Rs500 notes closed. So far, there have been no reports of chaos or long queues, such as those seen at toll plazas, over the issue of insufficient change for customers who paid with the new Rs2,000 notes.
Petrol dealers association leader Ravi Shinde said that petrol pumps are operating normally and that they have not yet received any complaints from their members.
“Petrol pump across the city are operating smoothly. None of our members have registered any complaints on our WhatsApp group. They have enough small change for now,” said Shinde.
Some petrol pump owners, however, feared there would be problems in the coming days if large numbers of people paid with Rs2,000 notes.
“Many people, especially two-wheeler riders, give us Rs 2,000 notes after filling fuel worth Rs200. How can we return Rs1,800 to each of them? If this continues, we might face a shortage of small change in the coming days,” said Rajendra Vijayan, the owner of a petrol pump at Parel.
For first few days after the demonetisation announcement, petrol pumps witnessed chaos and long queues as large numbers of people flocked there to use their old Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes and to withdraw up to Rs2,000 a day by swiping their debit cards at select fuel stations. The situation eased a little over time as the government extended the deadline to accept old Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes. According to petrol pump owners, several vehicle owners have switched to cashless payment modes such mobile wallets and debit and credit cards.